Well-balanced emotions help to create a well-rounded personality, especially in teenagers.
ILLUSTRATES NEED FOR WELL-BALANCED EMOTIONS IN A WELL-ROUNDED PERSONALITY. GREAT SEQUENCE OF PSYCHOLOGIST WHO PUTS TOGETHER BUILDING BLOCKS OF EMOTIONS & COVERS IT ALL WITH METAL CIRCLE OF "PERSONALITY".
Ken Smith sez: This bizarre film is hosted by an unnamed "psychologist." While spouting Pavlovian claptrap such as "Fear is triggered by loud noises" and "Your emotions can be your own greatest enemy," he repeatedly interrupts the story of "Jeff," the film's protagonist. Jeff -- who looks like a heroin addict -- has a lot of trouble controlling his emotions, and the psychologist is always ready to pop in with statements such as "If this kind of behavior is repeated often, it might lead to a permanently warped personality."
Control Your Emotions doubles as a lesson in behaviorist psychology and an admonition to postwar American children. "Before man learned how to control fire and put it to work, it was man's greatest enemy. In much the same way, your emotions can be your own greatest enemy." Similar messages percolate throughout the social guidance films of the 1940s and 1950s (see, for example, A Date With Your Family on The Behavior Offensive disc, where the narrator intones, "Pleasant, unemotional conversation helps the digestion").
The links between the effort to manage and regulate outbursts of feeling and the national offensive to smooth out adolescent behavioral excesses often seem obscure. There is no doubt, however, that the architects of Fifties consensus (psychologists, educators, the judiciary, sociologists and advertisers) wished to discourage "unproductive" and negativistic behavior. "Severe emotional stress," says the narrator of this film, "often decreases efficiency." As the film Office Courtesy (on this disc) shows, carefully regulated behavior was a condition of admission to the white-collar workplace. Perhaps Jeff, the short-fused antihero of Control Your Emotions, is simply undergoing the behavior modification required in order to become a middle manager.
What seems clearest is that for Americans, recovery from wartime damage was more about drawing away emotionally from war's stresses and strains than digging graves and sweeping up rubble. After twelve years of economic depression and almost four years of world war, parents (and the authorities on child development that stood behind them) wanted a peaceful and disruption-free world for their kids, and they don't seem to have distinguished between internal and external turmoils. All were undesirable.
Responsive both to the demands of the era and the process of individual maturation, Control Your Emotions ultimately promoted social adaptation over self-expression. It assumed that kids' behavior was a vehicle for emotions that were essentially uncomplicated, individual rather than social. In its scheme, teenagers' emotions weren't linked with any cultural or social contradictions, but simply combinations of the three basic emotions: rage, fear and love. So while other Coronet films like Shy Guy (see The Behavior Offensive) hinted at the existence of a youth culture with its own rewards and pressures, Control Your Emotions saw teens more as creatures of their hormones than of their times.
The original script, on file at the Library of Congress, offers interesting insight into the means by which the film was supposed to work. Most revealing are the character descriptions:
"JEFF. About 17. Heavy part. (SYNC) Quick, vivid temper. Hyper-thyroid type, perhaps. Must show rage in face Ñ see script in detail. Should look tall and strong.
"ROGER. Perhaps 10-12. Must show fear Ñ heavy, sobbing fear. Playful, mischievous. (SYNC).
"MOTHER. 35-40. Must be a little woman to contrast in size with JEFF. On her face we must see fear, anger, and affection. (SYNC)
"JOAN. 13-14, Slightly 'brattish' adolescent. Capable of exuberant enthusiasm. Not a major part. (SYNC)
"DOCTOR. 40-50, pleasant, narrator type Ñ speaks to camera Ñ white coat."
EMOTIONS PSYCHOLOGY ANGER BOYS BROTHERS FAMILY LIFE PSYCHOLOGY MENTAL HEALTH SAFETY MODELS FAMILIES FEAR LOVE HATE HUMOR SURREALISM MODELS ACCIDENTS Danger Lurks Safety
February 23, 2013 Subject:
The Final Scene
So what I get to is that ..eh..your mind is like a marshmallow on a stick?
March 28, 2010 Subject:
So what's the problem here?
OK, so the head-shrinker is a little bit creepy-looking, but what is there really to attack about the rest of the film? Every functioning adult controls his emotions. One post criticizes the fact that the film didn't address every single aspect of anger management. Well, in my opinion, it just about did. Any healthy young person can learn to control himself, and the movie wasn't meant to address those with actual, deeper, treatable problems.
April 2, 2009 Subject:
After Watching This.....I WANNA KILL SOMETHING!
August 23, 2004 Subject:
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?? YOU THINK I'M GONNA REVIEW THIS STUPID FILM--Oh, sorry...I was out of control there for a minute...
A rather bogus-sounding psychologist lectures us on the benefits of emotional control. His arguments are based on behaviorist theory, but he is seemingly ignorant of the fact that behaviorism, in the simplistic fashion that he uses it, undercuts his arguments because its so mechanistic and deterministic. For instance, he says emotions are based on stimulus-response patterns, hitting his knee at the reflex point to illustrate this. But if emotions were that automatic and involuntary, we wouldnt have any control over them at all. But Ill forgive him for that because he has the coolest audio-visual aids ever: bricks that say RAGE, FEAR, and LOVE, and a big round black piece of cardboard with the word PERSONALITY written on it in plastic letters. These great props would have a place of honor in the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices, right up there with the wire rack from Speech: Using Your Voice, though I think Id save the RAGE brick to throw at the television screen. Anyway, back to the movie. After his lecture, the psychologist shows us the story of Jeff, a teen who flies into a rage at the least provocation, culminating in almost beating his little brother to death with a coat hangerhis mother stops him, fortunately. This is a tantrum that Joan Crawford would approve of, since he uses a wooden coat hanger, rather than a wire one. The psychologist then steps in and shows us alternate ways Jeff could have handled the situations that made him angry. These are good solutions for the most part, but he gives us no clue as to how somebody with a serious anger control problem like Jeff could simmer his feelings down enough to be able to put these suggestions into practice. This is a typical campy Coronet film that takes a complex psychological problem and makes it seem like it could be solved in the space of a 13-minute film. Which, of course, makes it a great deal of fun and very mstable.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
April 10, 2003 Subject:
In this Coronet film about controlling your emotions, it is narrated by one ugly doctor, er, psychologist, er whatever he is (it's not explained). Anyways, with the help of some rather large props he has lying around, we find out that the only 3 emotions we have are Rage, Love and um, another one I can't remember. A case study is presented where a boy is JUST not having the greatest day (he flings the sprinlker around in desperation in one mad scene). The doctor-whatever says that he should try to control his emotions and adopt an aw-shucks attitude. Nothing is explained as to HOW this can be achieved.. (Of course nowadays, maladies such as this can be solved by drugs.. lots and lots of drugs...)